Lawmakers question keeping daylight saving time | Radio WGN 720

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A 2019 poll found that more than 70% of Americans want to abandon DST.

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Daylight saving time is fast approaching, but lawmakers want to know if it’s necessary to continue.

“DST has benefits and costs,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said.

On Wednesday, lawmakers debated whether the country should continue to change its clocks twice a year.

“It has an impact on our health, the school children who go to school and potentially even road safety,” Schakowsky added.

A 2019 poll found that more than 70% of Americans want to abandon DST.

Rep. Frank Pallone (DN.J.) thinks it’s time for a change.

“It’s all an inconvenience but unfortunately changing our clocks has impacts on our health and our economy,” Pallone said.

Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) worries about the effect of the change on children.

“Can you explain why a consistent sleep pattern is important for adolescent brain development and mental health,” Trahan asked.

“We specifically talked about mental health, including the risk of self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts,” said Beth Malow, Vanderbilt Sleep Division Director.

At Wednesday’s hearing, both Democrats and Republicans said moving forward might be the best course of action.

“I spoke to law enforcement. In fact, it reduces crime. Why is that? Because most crimes happen at dusk,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Staying on daylight saving time all year would require a new law. Upton says it’s important to stick to a unified schedule and any changes should be made with care.

“If you change it, that’s a big thing,” Upton added.

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